When tragedy strikes anywhere in America, as a people we have come to expect our federal leaders and candidates for federal office to capitalize on the tragedy by using it to push whatever their agenda might be from gun control to immigration reform, or religious liberty, among many others. We may be sickened by it but we also understand that these leaders are not part of the community in which the tragedy occurred. The victims of a massacre, for example, are nothing more to them than statistics to use for political rhetoric.
But when the politician is one of us—someone who lives in our community, shops at the same stores we shop at, eats at the same restaurants we eat at, their children attend school with our children, and they worship in the same churches we worship at—we do not expect to have the person we voted into office to represent us use a tragedy to promote their political career. We expect them to feel the same level of grief as the rest of the community.
It is the politicizing of our recent tragedy—the massacre at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino that left 14 dead and 22 injured—that makes what Supervisor Robert “Bob” Lovingood is doing so disheartening and disgusting. Once again, Lovingood is putting his own self-interest ahead of that of the residents he was elected to serve.
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